If the state legislature approves the changes, it is not yet clear which graduating class they would first apply to. The state has already added extra non-test graduation options for Class of 2018 students, including some tied to attendance, classroom grades, and work or volunteer hours.
As a second change, the board also recommended eliminating the WorkKeys job readiness exam that is part of a career tech graduation pathway taking effect this year. Students earning approved job credentials to qualify for a diploma also were supposed to achieve a certain WorkKeys score to graduate. That standard had already been adjusted slightly.
RELATED: State eliminates two social studies tests
In this week’s recommendation, instead of passing WorkKeys, those students would have to achieve certain scores (yet to be determined) on the state English 2 and Algebra 1 exams in addition to earning their job credentials.
“For some professions, WorkKeys might be spot-on, but if you’re a welder who can go and make $60,000 somewhere in the country coming out of high school, and you still want them to score a 12 or 14 on the WorkKeys, that’s probably a little unfair,” Owens said.
The third recommendation is to eliminate certain Ohio Teacher Evaluation System requirements that lead to individual school and classroom-level tests to measure student growth.
RELATED: State schools chief veers from testing committee’s plan
State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria earlier this year suggested that some of the state’s problem with overtesting comes from the variety of locally generated tests, some used for diagnostics, and some used for evaluation purposes.
DeMaria’s Advisory Committee on Assessments issued a June report on reducing testing, and earlier this year, the state legislature eliminated the state social studies tests for fourth- and sixth-graders.
The state board ended its resolutions with a call for the Ohio Department of Education to “ensure an orderly transition as the state’s testing structure is modified as well as continue its work on identifying opportunities to streamline testing efficiencies.”